Xbox Game Pass Core

Microsoft hasn’t given up hope on its Game Pass subscription service ending up on PlayStation and Nintendo consoles.

The top financial executive at Xbox just said the company wants to bring first-party Xbox games and the entire Game Pass offering on “every screen that can play games.”

Speaking during the Wells Fargo TMT Summit, Xbox CFO Tim Stuart said Microsoft has shifted strategy back towards the Xbox Everywhere initiative it was pushing so strongly a couple of years ago. That includes dropping Game Pass behind enemy lines and onto the PS5 and Nintendo Switch consoles.

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He said (via Game Spot): “It’s a bit of a change of strategy. Not announcing anything broadly here, but our mission is to bring our first-party experiences [and] our subscription services to every screen that can play games.

“That means smart TVs, that means mobile devices, that means what we would have thought of as competitors in the past like PlayStation and Nintendo.”

Whether that’s at all plausible is up for debate, but it’s clear why Microsoft would pursue that eventuality. Its strategy is now less about selling the console hardware itself and more about the subscription revenue it can glean by streaming the same games from the cloud.

However, it seems unlikely Sony would ever sanction the launch of an Xbox app on PlayStation consoles. Considering Sony doesn’t have a competing service and considering Call of Duty games are likely to become available on Game Pass in the next couple of years, it would effectively mean gamers wouldn’t have to buy the PS5 version to play on PS5 consoles.

Nintendo is a different matter. Microsoft and Ninty have been friendlier in recent years and considering the Switch’s hardware limitations, the company may welcome access to top games via the cloud. That seems more likely given Nintendo was among the companies signing ten-year agreements with Microsoft to ensure Call of Duty is available on its hardware. That would have to be via the cloud.

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